Does Your Mind Get in the Way of Your Heart?
I was recently reminded of how important it is that we be here for one another, especially as the holidays approach. I have a published Ebook emphasizing the importance of this, as we are getting further and further away from genuine and meaningful connection with one another in our culture.
This is the time to really listen to your heart and that raw authentic and loving self, which can become but a whisper in the face of the bombardment from media and self-help and Internet prescriptions for how to be the best ‘individual’ you can be… without anyone else. The problem, as with any strong influence from a culture, is that we can get further and further away from our True selves and true nature, simply from the brainwashing and repetition. Immersion really does work, for better or worse. And we need to protect not only our minds, but our hearts.
Life can be heartbreaking, and full of loss. And this is a reality in time whether we want to admit it or deny it. At the same time that we don’t want to over focus on the “negative” side of life, falling into denial about it’s existence can have a very suppressive and backfiring effect.
It’s better to acknowledge what is real as you move toward possibility in your life. In this way, we expose the “shadow” part of ourselves to the light, and it is less likely to harbor and disturb your life as it’s gasping to be seen.
In relationships of any kind, but especially family relationships during the holiday season, it can be super important to keep this in mind to avoid escalating family drama and hurtfulness.
It is the time to become patient, honest, and really listen to your loved ones. It is part of human nature to be here for one another. No one can be expected to walk alone. Yet some of the current thinking, that I refer to as the ‘military of self responsibility,’ would have us blaming each other rather than supporting each other. The attitude encourages people to pull out the self responsibility card on someone else, as a way of deflecting seeing what the situation is reflecting about themselves or about a pattern that may be revealing itself through the interaction.
This is not only distorted and unfair, but can be very hurtful to people who have the basic human need to be understood, and feel supported and cared for.
You know how sometimes a parent will tell a child
don’t cry, or stop crying, or you have no reason to be upset. Well this suppresses the child’s direct knowing that there is something wrong. Then he begins to not trust himself, along with suppressing his tears. I would go so far as to say this is abusive, because NOBODY can be strong all the time. So why would we require another person to be so strong? Well, how easy do you think it is for that parent who can’t stand their child’s emotional discontent, to feel their own? We try to suppress in others what we don’t want to own in ourselves.
And let’s take this a notch further. Haven’t you heard adults (or even yourself) say to each other “grow up, you’re-blank-age already, act your age” or something of that nature? This is a disowning of the inner child both in another and in oneself. We NEVER ‘get to the age’ where we don’t feel primal emotions anymore. We will never be ‘old enough’ that we are unaffected by one another and the abrasions of life. We will never ‘grow out of’ our social needs and wants for love, appreciation, understanding, protection and belonging. And undermining these things can be extremely hurtful.
In fact, suppression or undermining this valid human process, can lead to neuroticism. When emotional pain is ignored or shutdown, it gets louder and louder. Some people scream out loud, some have panic attacks, or some internalize into a deep depression or get jaded. Then this person suddenly “appears” as the problem. Oh now you’re out of control you need to calm down, which is really a mind-screw if we are to be honest about the dynamic that’s occurring between people. This effectively puts the person being suppressed into the position of “problem”, so that the other can justify being cold and aloof and not looking at what’s really coming up underneath of that. In this way, the situation can become very far away from the real issue, which is simply people being scared to be there for one another, to have intimacy, and to be in the presence of another’s experience without such fear.
Fear is behind ALL relationship disturbance. Period.
Our primal relationships are not merely symbols in our minds as we ‘grow up,’ they continue to affect us in real life as those relationships continue into adulthood. So, one’s main parent figure(s) continues to have an impact on the adult–child no matter what the chronological age, especially on an unconscious level. So our tendency to expect this not to be the case is misleading.
Instead of criticizing each other, I feel the task to better relationships is to embrace both in ourselves and in others whatever is being felt, and not be afraid to be present with it. A feeling it is ALWAYS valid. And if we try to avoid it, in ourselves and/or in another, it just gets bigger and louder. Often, even well-meaning people react with defenses out of an inner desperation to get away from the ‘unacceptable’ feelings that arise. And this can be very damaging between family members who are important to each other, and who naturally impact each other. And some ironic good news: often if we simply acknowledge and be present with the unwanted emotion, it often just dissipates, or at least gets unstuck more quickly. And it is a GIFT that we can help each other do this, NOT necessarily a codependency. Quite often the ‘codependency card’ can be a way of avoiding intimacy.
So it can be helpful to keep this in mind as we are dealing with sensitivities that come up during the sentimental mood of the season. Being willing to be sensitive, warm, compassionate and open with another can contribute to a reconstructive experience for their well-being. Whereas adopting a militantly aloof attitude of insisting that they access self responsibility at a time when they are really hurting and needing someone, can be quite damaging, disturbing, and even cause a PTSD/trauma affect. This is why people lose sleep or don’t eat or in other ways become deeply discontented during discord with loved ones. It is not because we are weak. It is not because we are lacking in self responsibility. It is because these primary and important relationships are feeling threatened. And this happens on a survival level, not a rational level. And the only true solution is the expression of genuine love and support, IN ADDITION to ‘self-support.’ So, here’s a new belief to try out: Self-support AND social support are both important! Yes, social and interdependent support is a PRIMAL survival need that deserves to be honored in everyone. If you need to give this any thought, then your mind is getting in the way of your heart.
And it’s true. Some people do not receive this love from others. And this is sad, for everyone deserves love just by virtue of being alive. But for those who feel lonely or deprived or unacknowledged, try not to close your heart. It can be the hardest thing to do to keep your heart open after heartbreak of whatever kind. But it can also be the most important thing to do for oneself, if other people are not able to come through because of their own blocks, beliefs or whatever reason they may have.
Especially if your preciously sensitive, remember your own value and connect on the highest level with God and with your higher self for the highest support that we all have access to. And remember to give what you want to receive. Giving the gift of love and acknowledgement to another human being can be just the thing they need, and can come back to you many fold in time!